LEXINGTON, Ky. — With the Wildcats set to play eight home games in 2019, UK Athletics has continued its work to provide the best and safest possible fan experience at Kroger Field. That work has led to the following upgrades and operational changes for the upcoming season, which begins when UK hosts Toledo at noon on Aug. 31.
· New concessions – Various new concessions options will be available at Kroger Field this season including expanded offerings in the west concourse, which features premium food options. Chick-Fil-A, Skyline Chili and House of ‘Cue will join Athenian Grill inside Gate 6, while Bourbon n’ Toulouse will join Atomic Ramen inside Gate 9. A map of all concessions offerings can be found here .
· Mobile ticketing – Mobile entry is now available at all UK venues, including Kroger Field. Fans will no longer need to print tickets and remember to bring them to games. Mobile ticketing enables you to view, scan, send and sell your tickets directly from your mobile device. UK Athletics season ticket holders and single-game buyers can access their tickets through the UK Athletics app or by visiting UKathletics.com/MyUKAccount from their mobile device’s web browser. Print-at-home paper tickets (PDFs) are being discontinued and will no longer be accepted at any UK Athletics venue to further combat fraud and counterfeiting commonly associated with PDF tickets. To prevent issues on game day, be sure to pull up your mobile tickets in advance of arriving at the venue and charge your mobile device. Users should add their tickets to Apple Wallet or Google Pay for added convenience. For more information on these changes, visit UKathletics.com/MobileTickets .
· WiFi Help Zones for mobile ticketing – To assist fans with mobile ticketing connectivity and related concerns, WiFi Help Zones will be in place on the exterior of the stadium. They will be located at the guest services locations outside gates 4, 9 and 12, as well as at the ticket office (between gates 9 and 10).
· Student and public gate changes – The entry gate for UK students will move to Gate 1 from Gate 15 to better accommodate student arrival and create additional room for the Cat Walk prior to the game. Fans who previously used Gate 1 for entry should now use either Gate 15 or Gate 2.
· Clear bag policy – As a reminder, the SEC’s clear bag policy remains in place at Kroger Field as an additional safety measure and to facilitate entry. Each fan will be permitted to carry one large clear bag – either a one-gallon Ziploc-style bag or a 12” x 6” x 12” clear bag – plus a small clutch that does not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. The small clutch allows privacy for small personal items and is also easily searched. The clear bag policy improves public safety by making bags easily searched and significantly reducing faulty bag searches. This season, there will be no bag check for fans who bring bags not compliant with the clear bag policy.
· In-Game Seat Upgrades – New this season, fans can upgrade their seat location through the UK Athletics app or by visiting UKathletics.com/upgrade on game day. Upgrades are available beginning two hours prior to kickoff on game day and will remain active until approximately the start of the third quarter. Please note that seat upgrades are not valid for entry and must be accompanied by a standard game ticket.
· Bench-back seating in North upper level – Bench-back seating has been added to all seats in North upper-level sections 201-203 and 209-211 that did not previously have bench backs (nearly 5,000 seats in total). UK Athletics has now reached its goal of installing bench-back or chair-back seating throughout Kroger Field, with the exception of the student section where bleacher seating will remain to accommodate as many students as possible.
· Expansion of Purple Lot – The University of Kentucky has undertaken a project to expand the Purple Lot to create more season permit parking availability in the popular area located adjacent to the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. Since this project is still in progress, please note that the lot’s boundaries could change throughout the course of the season. An updated parking map is available at this link .
· Military and first responder ticket pricing through GovX – Kentucky football is proud to honor all active and reserve members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders throughout the season with specially priced tickets through UK Athletics’ new partnership with GovX. For more information, visit UKathletics.com/GovX. For questions about eligibility and registering for GovX access, click here or email email@example.com.
· Group sales – Ticket discounts and exclusive game-day experiences are available to groups of 15 or more this season at Kroger Field. To learn more about bringing a group out to a football or game, contact the UK Sales Office by email at GroupSales@uky.edu, by phone at (800) 928-2287 (Option 1), or click here to be contacted by a personal representative.
UK Athletics also reminds fans of the following important information for game day this season:
· Game-day info online – The official online home for Kentucky football game-day information is UKathletics.com/GameDay . Please visit that website for everything you need to know about attending games at Kroger Field this season.
· Text assistance – The Game Day Assistance program enables fans to start a conversation with UK Athletics staff. Fans can text UK MESSAGE & SEAT LOCATION to 69050.
· Email questions – Fans with questions or feedback about football game day can contact UK Athletics by emailing BBNfirst@uky.edu.
· Game day ticket office hours – The Kroger Field ticket office, located between gates 9 and 10, opens four hours prior to kickoff and closes five minutes into the third quarter.
· Clear bag policy – As a reminder, the SEC’s clear bag policy remains in place at Kroger Field as an additional safety measure and to facilitate entry. Each fan will be permitted to carry one large clear bag – either a one-gallon Ziploc-style bag or a 12” x 6” x 12” clear bag – plus a small clutch that does not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. The small clutch allows privacy for small personal items and is also easily searched. The clear bag policy improves public safety by making bags easily searched and significantly reducing faulty bag searches.
· Kroger Tailgating Experience – Kroger will also host a VIP tailgate event before each home game in the lawn next to Bluegrass Technical and Community College. Kroger customers who spend more than $25 on select items the week prior to the game will be invited to the free Kroger Tailgating Experience featuring food and beverage. Free admission prints automatically on receipt at checkout.
· Complimentary water – Complimentary water is available to fans throughout both the lower and upper concourse of Kroger Field. Four large water tanks are located on both the lower and upper concourse that fans will be able to use to fill cups that will be provided.
· Lap tickets for infants under 12 months – The policy that all fans regardless of age must have a ticket remains in place, but lap tickets will again be available this season for infants 12 months and under. Lap tickets are only available on game day and may be purchased at the Kroger Field ticket office (between gates 9 & 10) for $10 by an accompanying adult with a ticket. The lap ticket policy only applies to regular-season home football games. Lap tickets were created in response to fan feedback from families with young children.
· Express lanes – With the clear bag policy, fans not carrying any bags will be able to enter the stadium through specially marked bag-free express lanes at each gate.
· Gate 12 congestion – Fans should be aware of expected congestion in the concourse inside gate 12 and the plaza outside gate 12 both pregame and postgame due to team movements and plan accordingly. With the completion of the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, the team locker room is now located there. Starting about 90 minutes prior to kickoff and lasting until approximately 40 minutes prior to kickoff, the team walks from the football facility to Kroger Field, restricting fan movement. The gate 12 area is also shut down postgame to allow the team to return to the locker room.
· Ride sharing – UK Athletics has worked with Lyft and Uber to establish a ride-sharing pickup and drop-off point on football game days. The loading and unloading zone is located on Sports Center Drive near the Woodland Glen dorms. Lyft and Uber drivers should proceed down Huguelet Drive, right on University Drive, left on Complex Drive and left on Sports Center Drive to pick up passengers, then right on Woodland Avenue after pickup.
· Permits for tow-behind trailers – In order to maintain the integrity of reserved parking lots for all guests, tow-behind trailers will not be permitted on paved surface lots within Kroger Field, unless they too have a permit. Guests bringing a tow-behind trailer, without an additional permit, will be directed to the nearest open grass lot.
· Tailgate setup – Fans are asked to not set up tents or trailers in the Kroger Field complex prior to noon on Fridays leading up to game day in order to facilitate preparations. Also, all vehicles, tents and trailers must be removed by noon on Sundays following game day.
· Traffic – Fans are encouraged to review the suggested routes listed on their parking passes. An interactive map with directions to each parking area can be found at http://ukgamedayparking.io-media.com/ . Fans are encouraged to display their parking permit when they leave their homes, enabling traffic personnel to efficiently sort and direct vehicles approaching the complex. Non-permit parking is available on Cooper Drive on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at noon ET on Fridays. Additional non-permit parking is available in Parking Structures #2, #3 and #6.
Purchasing season tickets is the best way to ensure seating for Kentucky football’s eight games at Kroger Field in 2019. Season tickets are available at UKFootballTix.com starting at $280 apiece. Fans are able to use the Kentucky Football Virtual Venue to view and compare available seat locations and see a 360-degree virtual view from the seats inside Kroger Field.
Kentucky football will play eight home games this fall for the first time since 2015. The Kentucky football team finished the 2018 season ranked No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll, the program's first ranking in final polls since the 1984 season and its highest since 1977.